Pete Wargent blogspot

CEO AllenWargent Property Buyers, & WargentAdvisory (institutional). 6 x finance author.

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Thursday, 16 February 2017

Full-time jobs struggle

Jobs picture mixed

Employment increased by +13,500 in January to a total of 11,998,200, following on from a gain of +16,500 jobs in December. 

The annual growth in employment has therefore picked up from +84,800 in November to +103,400 in January 2017, or +0.9 per cent.  

And, pleasingly, the sharp drop in the growth in the number of hours worked has righted itself, with year-on-year trend growth returning to +1.1 per cent. 

Full-time employment has increased quite solidly over the past four months to be up by +48,200, although the seasonally adjusted result for the month of January itself saw a sharp swing back towards part time employment. 

The month to month figures are always liable to swing around a bit due to sampling, but putting together all of the pieces of the puzzle the trend appears to be one of a steady improvement. 

Unemployment rate falls

The unemployment rate fell from 5.81 per cent to 5.66 per cent in January. 

I'm generally a glass half full type of person, but I think Commsec's take is as upbeat an interpretation of the unemployment rate as one could wish to see!

Source: Commsec

At the state level, Tasmania saw its unemployment rate decline to a 5-year low of 5.6 per cent, while the trend is moving nicely in the right direction. 

In New South Wales, the unemployment rate remains at 5 per cent. 

From month to month the employment figures jump around a bit, with most states outside New South Wales and Victoria recording employment gains in January, particularly Western Australia (+15,000), Queensland (+8,500), and South Australia (+5,500). 

The big picture, however, is that while New South Wales was the undisputed king of jobs growth in 2015, over the past year Victoria has taken over the mantle and Melbourne arguably now has the most buzzing economy in Australia. 

The wrap

Overall, a reasonable result for the month with employment growth and hours worked apparently picking up again, albeit with the mix suggesting a lower than desirable quality of jobs being created. 

It's worth noting that job advertisements are now tracking at 5-year highs, so total employment growth is likely to be stronger in 2017 than it was in 2016. 

A key trend to watch will be the growth in the number of full time jobs.

Construction, Worker, Concrete